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Orthopedic Impairment - What Is an Orthopedic Impairment?


Updated May 16, 2014

Orthopedic Impairments

Orthopedic Impairments

Orthopedic Impairments - Getty
Definition: Orthopedic Impairment - An orthopedic impairment, as defined by the IDEA, is a bodily impairment that is severe enough to negatively affect a child’s educational performance. This disability category includes all orthopedic impairments, regardless of cause. Examples of potential causes of orthopedic impairment include genetic abnormality, disease, injury, birth trauma, amputation, burns, or other causes.

People with orthopedic impairments usually need physical accommodations or assistive technology in work and life and have legal rights to this support under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Also Known As: Orthopedic impairments are sometimes called physical disabilities or other health impairments.
Common Misspellings: orthopaedic impairments
Disabling physical problems such as those resulting from poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or contractures from burns would be considered as orthopedic impairments under the IDEA.

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